James Wilson (British Army officer)

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Sir James Wilson
Born (1921-04-13)13 April 1921
Died 17 December 2004(2004-12-17) (aged 83)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1941–1977
Rank Lieutenant-General
Commands held 1st Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers
147th Infantry Brigade
North West District
South East District
Battles/wars World War II
Mau Mau Uprising
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross

Lieutenant-General Sir Alexander James Wilson KBE MC (13 April 1921 – 17 December 2004) was a British Army officer who commanded South East District.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, Wilson originally enlisted with the King's Shropshire Light Infantry and was then commissioned into the Rifle Brigade in 1941.[1] He served in World War II in North Africa and in Italy earning the MC for taking the village of Lusia.[1] After the War he served as private secretary to the Commander-in-Chief of the newly independent Pakistan Army.[1] He served in Kenya during the Mau Mau Uprising in 1954 and became Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1962.[2] He was appointed Chief of Staff for the United Nations force in Cyprus in 1964, Commander of 147th Infantry Brigade in 1966 and Director of Army Recruiting at the Ministry of Defence in 1967.[2] He went on to be General Officer Commanding North West District in 1970, Vice Adjutant-General in 1972 and General Officer Commanding South East District in 1974 before retiring in 1977.[2]

In retirement he was given the colonelcy of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers from 1977 to 1982. He was also Chairman and then Chief Executive of the Tobacco Advisory Council[1] and a Football Correspondent for The Sunday Times.[1]


In 1958 he married the Hon. Jean Margaret Rankeillour, daughter of Arthur Hope, 2nd Baron Rankeillour; they had two sons, one step-son and two step-daughters.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Lt-Gen Sir James Wilson". The Daily Telegraph. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Debrett's People of Today, 1994
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Terence McMeekin
GOC South East District
Succeeded by
Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley
Preceded by
George Harris Lea
Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Succeeded by
David Milner Woodford